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Jim Balsillie: Dragging Canada into the 21st Century | TVO.org
Technological innovation at the outset of this millennium has been nothing short of revolutionary. And it shows no signs of slowing down. Jim Balsillie, the former co-CEO of Research In Motion, says Canada is not keeping up. Worse, that policymakers and businesses still don't seem to fully appreciate the scope of the change underway. He's now chair of the Council of Canadian innovators, and he joins The Agenda to discuss his ideas.

#1 job. Accumulate valuable intangible assets. which you then commercialize. You acquire a lot of IP and data assets.
Jim_Balsillie  Canada  Steve_Paikin  policymakers  priorities  digital_economy  innovation  knowledge_economy  ideas  intangibles  intellectual_property  competitiveness  protocols  Sun_Tzu  under-performing  under_appreciated  21st._century 
february 2019 by jerryking
Canada doomed to be branch plant for global tech giants unless Ottawa updates thinking, Balsillie warns | Financial Post
James McLeod
November 16, 2018
7:27 PM EST

Canadian governments need to radically rethink their approach to the knowledge economy if the country is to be anything more than a branch plant for global technology giants,.......“I think they confuse a cheap jobs strategy … (and) foreign branch plant pennies with innovation billions,” .........Balsillie has argued that the “intangible” economy of data, software and intellectual property is fundamentally different from the classical industrial economy built on the trade of goods and services, and that because Canadian policymakers fail to understand that difference, they keep being taken for rubes.......Balsillie was particularly critical of the federal government’s policy when it comes to “branch plant” investments in Canada in the technology sector.

He said that in the traditional economy of goods and services, foreign direct investment (FDI) is a good thing, because there’s a multiplier effect — $100 million for a new manufacturing plant or an oil upgrader might create $300 million in spinoff economic activity.

But if you’re just hiring programmers to write software, the picture is different, he said. It’s a much smaller number of jobs with fewer economic benefits, and, more importantly, the value created through intellectual property flows out of the country.

“Our FDI approaches have been the same for the intangibles, where, when you bring these companies in, they put a half a dozen people in a lab, they poach the best talent and they poach the IP, and then you lose all the wealth effects,”....“Don’t get me wrong. I believe in open economies. They’re going to come here anyway; I just don’t know why we give them the best talent, give them our IP, give them tax credits for the research, give them the red carpet for government relations, don’t allow them to pay taxes, and then have all the wealth flow out of the country.”...if small countries such as Canada make a point of prioritizing the intangible economy, there are huge opportunities. He pointed to Israel, Finland and Singapore as examples of how smart policies and specialization can reap big rewards.

“I could literally see enormously powerful positions for Canada if we choose the right places. I mean, there are some obvious ones: value added in the food business, and precision data and IP in agriculture; certainly in energy extraction and mining, which are data and technology businesses,” he said.

“We actually have enormous opportunities to build the resilience and opportunity,” he said. ”And how can you threaten a country with a picture of a Chevy and 25 per cent tariffs when you’ve built these kinds of very powerful innovation infrastructures that you can’t stop with a tariff because they move with the click of a mouse?”
agriculture  branch_plants  Canada  data  digital_economy  energy  FDI  Finland  food  GoC  industrial_economy  IP_retention  intangibles  intellectual_property  Israel  Jim_Balsillie  mining  policymakers  property_rights  protocols  Singapore  talent  technology  wealth_effects 
november 2018 by jerryking
The digital economy is disrupting our old models
Diane Coyle 14 HOURS AGO

To put it in economic jargon, we are in the territory of externalities and public goods. Information once shared cannot be unshared.

The digital economy is one of externalities and public goods to a far greater degree than in the past. We have not begun to get to grips with how to analyse it, still less to develop policies for the common good. There are two questions at the heart of the challenge: what norms and laws about property rights over intangibles such as data or ideas or algorithms are going to be needed? And what will the best balance between collective and individual actions be or, to put it another way, between government and market?
mydata  personal_data  digital_economy  Facebook  externalities  knowledge_economy  public_goods  algorithms  data  ideas  intangibles  property_rights  protocols 
april 2018 by jerryking
Canada needs an innovative intellectual property strategy - The Globe and Mail
JAMES HINTON AND PETER COWAN
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May 19, 2017

Canada has never before had a national IP strategy, so getting it right will set the stage for subsequent innovation strategies. Here are some factors that our policy makers must take into account:

(1) Canadian innovators have only a basic understanding about IP

Canadian entrepreneurs understand IP strategy as a defensive mechanism to protect their products. In reality, IP is the most critical

(2) Focus on global IP landscape, rather than tweak domestic IP rules

Canada’s IP regime, including the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, needs a strategy that reflects global norms for IP protection, protects Canadian consumers and shrewdly supports Canadian innovators.l tool for revenue growth and global expansion in a 21st-century economy.

(3) Canadian businesses own a dismal amount of IP

Although IP has emerged as the most valuable corporate asset over the past two decades, it is overlooked by Canadian policy makers and businesses.
(4) Building quality patent portfolio requires technically savvy experts

A high-quality patent portfolio needs to include issued and in-force patents, including patents outside of Canada in key markets such as the United States and Europe. Strong portfolios will also have broad sets of claims that are practised by industry, spread across many patents creating a cloud of rights with pending applications.
(5) IP benefits from public-private partnerships are flowing out of country.

Canada’s innovation strategy must consider ownership and retention of our IP as one of its core principles. Are we satisfied with perpetually funding IP creation while letting foreign countries reap the benefits?
21st._century  Canada  Canadian  defensive_tactics  digital_economy  digital_savvy  digital_strategies  high-quality  intangibles  intellectual_property  IP_generation  IP_retention  Jim_Balsillie  overlooked  patents  policymakers  portfolios  portfolio_management  property_rights  protocols  strategic_thinking 
may 2017 by jerryking
Good Schools Aren’t the Secret to Israel’s High-Tech Boom - WSJ
March 20, 2017

Israel’s shadow education system has three components. The first is our heritage of debate—it’s in the Jewish DNA. For generations Jews have studied the Talmud, our legal codex, in a way vastly different from what goes on in a standard classroom. Instead of listening to a lecture, the meaning of complex texts is debated by students in hevruta—pairs—with a teacher offering occasional guidance.

Unlike quiet Western libraries, the Jewish beit midrash—house of study—is a buzzing beehive of learning. Since the Talmud is one of the most complex legal codes ever gathered, the idea of a verdict is almost irrelevant to those studying. Students engage in debate for the sake of debate. They analyze issues from all directions, finding different solutions. Multiple answers to a single question are common. Like the Talmud itself—which isn’t the written law but a gathering of protocols—the learning process, not the result, is valued.

The second component of our shadow education system is the peer-teaches-peer model of Jewish youth organizations, membership-based groups that we call “movements.” Teenagers work closely with younger children; they lead groups on excursions and hikes, develop informal curricula, and are responsible for those in their care. As an 11th-grade student, I took fifth-graders on an overnight hike in the mountains. Being given responsibilities at a young age helped shape me into who I am today.

The third component is the army.
Israel  ksfs  education  high_schools  schools  Jewish  Talmud  protocols  Judaism  books  religion  coming-of-age  technology  science_&_technology  venture_capital  innovation  human_capital  capitalization  struggles  convictions  tough-mindedness  rigour  discomforts  cultural_values  arduous 
march 2017 by jerryking
Empty talk on innovation is killing Canada’s economic prosperity
Mar. 19, 2017 | Globe & Mail | by JIM BALSILLIE.

Immigration, traditional infrastructure such as roads and bridges, tax policy, stable banking regulation and traditional trade agreements are all 19th- and 20th-century economic levers that advance Canada’s traditional industries, but they have little impact on 21st-century productivity.

The outdated economic orthodoxy behind our discourse on innovation is causing the steady erosion of our national prosperity.

Over the past 30 years, commercialization of intellectual property (IP) became the primary driver of new wealth. The structure of the 21st-century company shifted and IP became the most valuable corporate asset. IP is an intangible good that requires policy infrastructure that’s completely different than the infrastructure required to get traditional tangible goods to market. IP relies on a tightly designed ecosystem of highly technical interlocking policies focused on scaling companies, which are “agents” of innovation outputs.....Canada doesn’t have valuable IP to sell to the world so we continue exporting low-margin resource and agricultural goods while importing high-margin IP. If our leaders want to create sustainable economic growth, Canada’s growth strategy must focus on creating high-margin IP-based exports that the world wants and must pay for.........IP ownership is the competitive driver in the new global economy, not exchange rates that adjust production costs. That’s why despite the strong U.S. dollar, U.S. company valuations and exports are soaring – IP-intensive industries added $6.6-trillion (U.S.) to the U.S. economy in 2014. So what is Canada’s strategy to increase our ownership of valuable IP assets and commercialize them globally? Supply chains in the innovation economy are different than in traditional economies because IP operates on a winner-take-all economic principle with zero marginal production costs. IP is traded differently than tangible goods because IP moves across borders on the principle of restriction, not free trade. Trade liberalization increases competition and reduces prices, but increased IP protection does the exact opposite. The economy for intangible goods is fundamentally different than the one for tangible goods. Productivity in the global innovation economy is driven by new ideas that generate new revenue for new markets. What Canada needs is a strategy to turn its new ideas into new revenue.....The Growth Council missed our overriding priority for growth: a national strategy to generate IP that Canadian companies can commercialize to scale globally.

We urgently need sophisticated strategies to drive the commercialization of Canadian ideas through our most innovative companies.
innovation  Jim_Balsillie  happy_talk  intellectual_property  scaling  tax_codes  winner-take-all  productivity  intangibles  digital_economy  ideas  self-deception  patents  commercialization  national_strategies  global_economy  property_rights  protocols  borderless 
march 2017 by jerryking
Canadians can innovate, but we’re not equipped to win - The Globe and Mail
JIM BALSILLIE
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 08 2015

[For Corey Reid and UpSark]

...We can make commercialization of ideas a source of our prosperity if we apply strategic approaches....The commercialization of ideas is a chain of systematic and deliberate events. This is how wealth is generated in an innovation economy. Growing and scaling up a critical mass of ideas-based companies in the global marketplace is difficult, but not impossible. Yet for us to expect that the results of our current innovation policies and investments will miraculously spur new companies and significant economic growth is, as many people like to say, the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result....Canada’s innovation performance will not improve unless the country’s business, university and political leadership comes together to consider radically different policies, programs and tools.
angels  commercialization  digital_economy  ecosystems  ideas  innovation  industrial_policies  innovation_policies  intellectual_property  Jim_Balsillie  patents  policy_tools  property_rights  protocols  scaling  systematic_approaches  wishful_thinking 
may 2015 by jerryking
Strong intellectual property rights are key to prosperity - The Globe and Mail
BRIAN LEE CROWLEY
Strong intellectual property rights are key to prosperity
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Feb. 10 2015,

The stability of property and its transference by consent were thus rightly deemed by the great Scottish philosopher David Hume as two of the three rules that underpinned truly civilized societies (the third was the keeping of promises). Strong, reliable and consistent property rights unlock prosperity because they reduce conflict, promote stewardship and reward investment..... A strong IP regime therefore unlocks creativity, surely one of the keys to prosperity in a society increasingly dependent on intangible services for its wealth creation. Ultimately, all wealth is created by human knowledge, and increasingly the wealth of societies such as Canada takes the form of the fruits of our fertile minds, in software, design, film, fashion, engineering, disease control and more.
capitalism  intellectual_property  rule_of_law  Congo  Zaire  property_rights  abuses  impunity  intangibles  patents  wealth_creation  think_tanks  counterfeits  creativity  digital_economy  protocols  David_Hume  knowledge_economy  prosperity 
february 2015 by jerryking
Why Canada’s tech companies fail - The Globe and Mail
RICHARD BLACKWELL

The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Apr. 10 2014,

Missing in Canada, though, are advanced skills related to intellectual property rights. At companies, sophisticated IPR capacity is a “precondition to commercially scaling innovative technologies,” he said, noting only U.S., Japanese and South Korean companies have been among the top patent filers in the United States. BlackBerry is the only Canadian company in the top 100.

Mr. Balsillie said Apple Inc. and Google Inc. spend more on acquiring intellectual property rights than they do on research and development.

IPR skills are crucial if Canadian companies are to compete internationally, he said, or else they will end up as a “lambs for slaughter” in the global marketplace. “They will never grow and Canada will continue to fall behind at a [national] level.”

In an interview after his speech, Mr. Balsillie said Ottawa’s role should be to “sophisticatedly understand how the game is played, particularly in the U.S. and Europe, and make sure that companies are trained to thrive in the game.”

He said currently there are no professors in Canada teaching the global patent system in law, business or engineering schools, and there is no training in the subject in the civil service.

Intellectual property is so important, Mr. Balsillie said, that bilateral issues concerning IPR will eventually overtake traditional trade irritants between countries.
failure  Canada  start_ups  technology  Jim_Balsillie  intellectual_property  scaling  patents  property_rights  protocols  Canadian  industrial_policies  Ottawa  rules_of_the_game  civil_service  UpSpark  sophisticated  bilateral  competitive_strategy 
april 2014 by jerryking
Starting Up in High Gear
July-August 2000 | HBR |An Interview with Vinod Khosla by David Champion and Nicholas G. Carr.

To create the kind of new wealth you’re talking about, we’re going to have to see massive investments in information technology. Where’s the money going to come from?

It’s going to come out of corporate budgets. Companies invest wherever they’re going to get the biggest returns, and right now that’s IT. Look at the trend in capital expenditures. Twenty years ago, information technology accounted for about 10% of capital expenditures in the United States. ...
Today, if you have a plan for a new business, you circulate it in the venture community and you get funded in a week. What you don’t get is an honest, painstaking critique. What are the downsides in your plan? What are the shortcomings? What are the weak links? The strengths of your idea get a lot of attention, but the weaknesses get ignored—and ultimately it’s the weaknesses of your plan that will kill you. A start-up is only as strong as its weakest link....
The first thing we focused on was getting the right set of people for the company—the right gene pool. We started out on the technical end. Pradeep had helped architect the Ultrasparc processor at Sun, so he had strong skills in building technical architectures and could apply those skills to routers. But he needed somebody with experience in building and operating an IP network, and he needed somebody who’d done operating systems software for routers and somebody who’d done protocols for routers. So we drew out a map that said, “Here are the ten different areas of expertise we need.” Then we made a list of the companies doing the best work in each area, and we listed the five people in each company who would make good targets. We went after those people, and piece by piece we assembled a multidisciplinary team that could make Juniper a leader.
IT  interviews  HBR  Kleiner_Perkins  start_ups  large_companies  management_consulting  Vinod_Khosla  executive_search  shortcomings  weaknesses  new_businesses  CAPEX  weak_links  Nicholas_Carr  talent_acquisition  gene_pool  expertise  team_risk  wealth_creation  cross-pollination  interdisciplinary  teams  protocols 
june 2012 by jerryking
The Superball Economy - WSJ.com
March 3, 2003 | WSJ | By ANDY KESSLER.

Design is cheaper. If you look closely, Silicon Valley has very few manufacturers left. Chips are made in Taiwan, boards assembled in China or Thailand. We are now a Valley of designers. And there are lots of programmers and chip-heads and communications protocol folks walking the streets willing to work for much cheaper than three years ago. Office space is plentiful. Word has it there is space available for 50 cents per square foot per month, down from $12.

Bandwidth is cheaper. Global Crossing spent $12 billion on undersea fiber optics that someone is going to buy for $250 million. WorldCom and others have strung the U.S. with more fiber than in Frosted Mini-Wheats. And it won't be just for phone calls. Find companies that use that cheap bandwidth, and you'll find the boom.

Video is cheaper. Napster music sharing was child's play compared to what is next. Hours of video can be captured, stored and shared with today's cheap PCs and broadband lines. Jack Valenti, call your office.

Wireless data is cheaper. The Federal Communications Commission set aside frequencies for hospitals and microwave ovens that might interfere with phones or radar. This Industrial, Scientific and Medical block of spectrum is known as the junk band. While stupid telecom companies overbid for spectrum for third generation 3G cell phone devices, clever engineers figured out how to hop around the junk band -- letting out-of-work programmers surf job listings at Starbucks. Intel is putting these radios in many of their chips.

Distributed computing is cheaper. Google uses 12,000 cheap PCs to log the Internet so you can look up your neighbor and figure out how much she makes. Even distributed programming is cheaper. Microsoft's biggest problem is far-flung programmers creating operating systems like Linux at home in their pajamas. Bill Gates is reportedly all over the Valley asking for help to combat this "Open Source" nuisance.

About the only thing not cheap is capital. Venture capitalists are stingy, the IPO window is closed, and stocks are at four-year lows. Hmmm. Forget that last boom, it's ancient history. Look for new products not possible or too expensive three years ago. Slam down your new Superballs and be ready.
Andy_Kessler  Silicon_Valley  economic_downturn  protocols  recessions  optimism  design  bandwidth  open_source  new_products  distributed_computing  venture_capital  IPOs  inexpensive  cheap_revolution  abundance  economic_dynamism  leaps_of_faith  FCC  overpaid  wireless_spectrum 
may 2012 by jerryking
Nicholas Carr on E-Books - WSJ.com
DECEMBER 31, 2011 |WSJ | By NICHOLAS CARR

Books That Are Never Done Being Written
Digital text is ushering in an era of perpetual revision and updating, for better and for worse.

As electronic books push paper ones aside, movable type seems fated to be replaced by movable text.

That's an attractive development in many ways. It makes it easy for writers to correct errors and update facts. Guidebooks will no longer send travelers to restaurants that have closed or to once charming inns that have turned into fleabags. The instructions in manuals will always be accurate. Reference books need never go out of date.

Even literary authors will be tempted to keep their works fresh. Historians and biographers will be able to revise their narratives to account for recent events or newly discovered documents. Polemicists will be able to bolster their arguments with new evidence. Novelists will be able to scrub away the little anachronisms that can make even a recently published story feel dated.

But as is often the case with digitization, the boon carries a bane. The ability to alter the contents of a book will be easy to abuse. School boards may come to exert even greater influence over what students read. They'll be able to edit textbooks that don't fit with local biases. Authoritarian governments will be able to tweak books to suit their political interests. And the edits can ripple backward. Because e-readers connect to the Internet, the works they contain can be revised remotely, just as software programs are updated today. Movable text makes a lousy preservative.

Such abuses can be prevented through laws and software protocols. What may be more insidious is the pressure to fiddle with books for commercial reasons. Because e-readers gather enormously detailed information on the way people read, publishers may soon be awash in market research. They'll know how quickly readers progress through different chapters, when they skip pages, and when they abandon a book.
Nicholas_Carr  e-books  digital_media  shortcomings  protocols  unintended_consequences  abuses  digitalization  market_research  publishing  dark_side 
january 2012 by jerryking
Straying From Tradition to Generate Solid Leads - WSJ.com
NOVEMBER 10, 2010 | WSJ | Mike Michalowicz. One shortcut to
getting solid referrals from clients is a process I call "fast-flow
prospecting." It starts with simply asking, "Would you mind referring me
to your other top vendors so that we can explore ways to serve you
better?" You might get a raised eyebrow, but your clients will almost
always say yes. It's a no-brainer for your client because you're not
asking them to hook you up with new leads; you're simply asking them to
help you, help them....Because you are working with other vendors to
create a better service protocol for mutual clients and prospects, this
lead-generation strategy will result in the best of referrals. Not only
will you land more clients, but you'll also build strong client
relationships that lead to other vendor referrals, and so on.
lead_generation  prospecting  referrals  running_a_business  shortcuts  protocols  business_development 
november 2010 by jerryking
The Protocol Society
Dec. 22, 2009 | NYT | By DAVID BROOKS. A protocol economy has
very different properties than a physical stuff economy. The success
of an economy depends on its ability to invent and embrace new
protocols, its' “adaptive efficiency,” -- how quickly a society can be
infected by new ideas. Protocols are intangible, so the traits needed to
invent and absorb them are intangible, too. First, a nation has to have
a good operating system: laws, regulations and property rights. Second,
a nation has to have a good economic culture: attitudes toward
uncertainty, the willingness to exert leadership, the willingness to
follow orders. A strong economy needs daring consumers (China lacks
this) and young researchers with money to play with (N.I.H. grants used
to go to 35-year-olds but now they go to 50-year-olds). See “From
Poverty to Prosperity,” by Arnold Kling and Nick Schulz and Richard
Ogle’s 2007 book, “Smart World,” When the economy is about ideas,
economics comes to resemble psychology.
David_Brooks  innovation  books  culture  adaptability  ideaviruses  risk-taking  R&D  N.I.H.  property_rights  regulations  rule_of_law  institutional_integrity  services  digital_economy  rules-based  intellectual_property  demand-driven  psychology  customer-driven  intangibles  behavioural_economics  protocols  poverty  prosperity 
december 2009 by jerryking

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